We all use our sunglasses for different things. Some people exclusively use them at work. Other people only wear them when off. We may all need them at different times, but it is safe to say that most people who wear sunglasses use them primarily in the summer, unless you are one fortunate enough to live in an ever-sunny destination like Florida, California, or Colorado. Unfortunately, not everyone can be so lucky, so it is important to have all your bases covered.
You may be different, but I have my needs broken down into three categories in order to help you organize yours: fashionable shades, sport sunglasses, and my chilling specs. Obviously, they all serve a similar purpose, but they also satisfy specialized requirements. We wear shoes to almost every activity we do, but we are motivated by very different things. When hiking, I need solid arch and ankle support, but I probably wouldn’t want to wear my hiking boots to a wedding. (I have however been to a wedding halfway up a mountain before. It was classily beautiful and rugged. I did wish I was wearing hiking boots then. Props to people who get married on mountains.)
- Sometimes I want to be fashionable
As I was saying above, sometimes it is important for us to match our shoes with the rest of our outfit. The primary motivation is creating a congruent ensemble. I know I need my dress shoes to go with my suit and jacket. My belt and shoe color must match the pant selection. And, if I am going to be wearing sunglasses, I need them to be of the fancy variety. Now, when I say fancy, I do not necessarily mean expensive. I don’t buy expensive sunglasses anymore, but I have been given a pair or two in my lifetime. I am talking about a trendy style. With my suit, I like to wear a Ray Ban style shade, optimally with thin black or tan frames. When I go out at night in Vegas, it is a different story. There, I require ample eye-coverage. (It helps minimize the bright neon lights) I prefer big and reflective retro aviator sunglasses, a la Top Gun. For some reason, this is considered fashionable in Vegas. Honestly, I don’t really get it, but I have no problem getting to wear my stunner shades in the club, so I guess it works out.
- Other times I need sport performance
As we know from the classic film Grease, summer nights are the bee’s knees, but summer days are pretty incredible too. There are so many fun activities to do, so long as you take the proper precautions. For me, I need three things to feel secure during a lovely summer day. I need water, and sunscreen, and sunglasses. So long as I have those, I am ready to take on nature.
I live in Colorado, and we have an abundance of excellent mountain biking. The problem is, the further you go into the mountains, the higher you climb, and the stronger the sun becomes. That is why I always keep a pair of sport sunglasses to help protect my eyes from the harmful UV rays and keep my eyes focused on what is in front of me. Hiking is the exact same. There can be so much prolonged exposure to the bright mountain sun, it can be very damaging if you don’t take care of your eyes.
World-class fly fishing is also an activity that the mountains provide. That cold snowmelt provides ideal conditions for the local trout population, but I rarely even throw my line on the water if I forgot to bring my cheap polarized sunglasses. It is absolutely imperative to be able to see into the water when trying to catch trout. That is why I keep a pair of those cheap sunglasses in my fishing gear bag at all times.
- Time-to-Chill Specs
Being a 26 year old man living in Denver, I cannot sit here and lie to you saying that I spend every day off work doing physical activities in the mountains. We have resource available to us in the city too, and it is one that should not be overlooked, the vast amount of quality breweries. In Denver alone, you can spend entire days just cruising from one establishment to the next sampling the different varieties of local brews. Unfortunately, as many of you know, this can leave your body reeling in the morning and overly sensitive to noise and light. This can be a problem because, for many reasons, my group of friends loves brunch. Whenever we are out partying together on a Friday or Saturday night, we always make plans to meet up for food early* the next day. (Early* can be a very subjective term depending on your previous night’s activities.) This results in my hung over body struggling to see when I go outside, which is exactly why I have my time-to-chill specs.
I like my chilling sunglasses to be big and provide a lot of cover. Also, they must be comfortable, like grandpa and his wraparound-senior-sunglasses-comfortable. They are the perfect selection for me everywhere that I am not worried about what I look like. I wear them to read when I am hanging out on my back porch. I wear them to the beach when I just want to lie in the sun. It doesn’t really matter what I use them for because they work with everything, except dress pants of course…
I am sure that your specific needs are different than mine. Maybe you go out to fashionable events more than I do and like to get dressed up. Perhaps you get to wear your sunglasses to work and so you need a sport/fashionable hybrid pair. No matter your needs, you will probably want to invest in a few pairs. That is exactly why I prefer cheap sunglasses. I am not Mr. Monopoly Man, but I still want to own a few different pairs, but I simply can’t afford to spend that much on multiple sunglasses. Now that I switched to cheap sunglasses, I have a system that works and a pair for all occasions. My eye needs are covered. I hope you agree with me, so yours will be too.